The charge of our light brigade . . !

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FORWARD, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns! he said. Into the valley of Death, Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew, Someone had blundered. Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die. Into the valley of Death, Rode the six hundred.

The strange moves being made by constitutional governors against elected governments and even a minister fighting the Supreme Court judges, reminds us so much of Tennyson’s poem, ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade!’ The poem was written after the British Light Cavalry Brigade suffered great casualties in the Battle of Balaclava. Tennyson wrote the poem based on two articles published in The Times: the first, published on 13 November 1854, contained the sentence “The British soldier will do his duty, even to certain death, and is not paralyzed by the feeling that he is the victim of some hideous blunder,” which provided the inspiration for his phrase in the poem, “Someone had blunder’d.”

Yes, some general is blundering even here in our country as like duty-bound soldiers, these respectable men who have been selected as governors and a minister ride ferociously against elected governments and the more formidable, Constitution of India! But ‘there’s not to make reply, there’s not to reason why, there’s but to do and die!’

But, here the situation in our country changes from the poem, because as these gentlemen in high places, ‘flash all their sabres bare’ and rush into the thick of it all, it is not just they who are going into the ‘jaws of death’ but on their backs, our country!

On the 26th in a few days we celebrate our Republic Day, a day as sacred as Independence Day, and the ‘charge of our light brigade’ is against those same laws and regulations that were written a few years after independence that allow us to remain a free nation, without any one person, or community dominating the other!

That Constitution is being charged at by the ‘light brigade’! Yes indeed, as the last few lines of the poem go on to say, ‘Charging an army, while all the world wondered.’ Today, all the world wonders what suicidal mission we are on!

And today as ‘Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them, Volley and thunder’ it is only we who need to wake up before those proud celebrations we do on Republic Day, turn meaningless! Yes, the cannons of right and wrong, the cannons of justice keep going on as these ill- advised ‘duty bound’ soldiers of ours ride into the jaws of death carrying our country in their arms..!